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Is It Safe To Use Marijuana While Breastfeeding?

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The use of marijuana is something that is debatable. Studies often conflict, and assumptions have to be based on single cases, rather than controlled observations. And while some studies state that marijuana has its health benefits, many others don’t conform to the view. But, it is obvious that marijuana use, while you are nursing your little one, is unsafe.

Here, we talk about any potential side effects of smoking marijuana while breastfeeding. So, read on to know more.

Marijuana:

Marijuana is a more popular name given to cannabis. It is prepared from the Cannabis plant and is used as a psychoactive drug, and in some cases, as a medication. The most active ingredient in marijuana, which acts as the psychoactive substance, is known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Marijuana features on the list of Drugs of Abuse, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) reports many side effects (1). And Marijuana is unsafe during breastfeeding. Experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, advise nursing mothers to avoid using marijuana. Apart from the direct effects of chemicals of the drug on a baby, it may impact your ability to care for your child properly. Moreover, it may impair maternal judgment (2).

Effects Of Marijuana On Breast Milk:

There have been few studies on the effects of marijuana on breastfeeding women, and the effects of postnatal marijuana exposure through breastfeeding remain unclear. Delta 9 TetraHydroCannabi, or THC, is the active component of this drug (3). Marijuana’s active chemicals, including THC, enter the breast milk in small to moderate amounts. THC gets stored in the fat tissues for long periods and with continuous use, gets built up in the body.

When you smoke or eat marijuana, the active chemicals in marijuana can pass into your baby’s body through your breast milk. Research has found traces of THC in the urine of babies that are breastfed while their mothers use marijuana.

According to animal studies, cannabis may impede breast milk production (4). It may impact the quality and quantity of breast milk. Animal studies suggest that the drug can inhibit lactation by inhibiting prolactin production. Prolactin that affects production of breastmilk, and possibly, by acting directly on the mammary glands.

Dangers Of Marijuana During Lactation:

An analysis of a chronic marijuana user’s breastmilk indicates an eightfold milk concentration than the mother’s blood plasma. According to studies, there is significant metabolism and absorption in infants (5). However, no long-term marijuana effects on breastfeeding were documented. The use of marijuana during breastfeeding has many risks. Exposing babies to secondhand smoke increases the amount of marijuana that they receive. Also, street drugs are rarely pure, meaning that they may be laced with other unknown drugs or substances that can be extremely harmful to breastfeeding babies.

During the first few months of a baby’s life, his brain grows and develops significantly. Marijuana is dangerous as it may alter brain cells. Studies conducted on animals whose mothers’ milk contains THC showed that the drug may alter DNA and RDA synthesis and impair the proteins required for proper growth and development of brain cells.

Marijuana can cause sleepiness in babies, which can result in slow weight gain. It is also possible that babies’ overall development can be slowed down long term. Additionally, it is important to note that babies regularly exposed to marijuana, as well as other drugs, are at a higher risk of SIDS (6).

A high concentration of THC in breast milk can expose babies to it, and they may experience THC excretion in their urine for 2 to 3 weeks. As mentioned earlier, marijuana can cause sedation and growth delay in infants. According to studies, signs of poor sucking, reduced muscular tonus and sedation have been found in babies exposed to the drug through breast milk (7).

Studies Related To Breastfeeding And Marijuana Use:

The effects of marijuana use by lactating mothers on their baby’s development were evaluated in two studies. In one, there were no significant differences found in terms of growth, weaning or motor and mental development with regard to age.

A 1990 study by Astley and Little, concluded that there is an association between marijuana exposure through breast milk during the first month postpartum and a decrease in infant motor development at the age of one (8). Infants exposed to the drug for over half of the days during the first month of lactation or the first trimester of gestation were found to have significantly lower mean Psychomotor Development Index scores compared to infants who were not exposed to marijuana.

A correlation between exposure to cannabis during the third month after birth and motor development was not found in the study. There was also no connection between exposure during the first and third-month post partum and an infant’s mental development (9). However, it should be noted that it is still a preliminary study and the cause-effect relation between exposure to marijuana during lactation and motor development decrease in an infant is not necessarily direct and simple. There are other factors involved such as exposure to the drug during pregnancy, passive cannabis smoke exposure and the quality of the relationship between mother and child. At present, there are no studies related to the long term effects of marijuana exposure through breastfeeding.

As mentioned earlier, there is limited published data on the effects of marijuana on a baby through breast milk. Data often comes from random screenings of breast milk and not from controlled studies (10). The ethical considerations in administering marijuana to breastfeeding mothers have limited controlled studies. There has been a lot of concern regarding the drug’s possible effects on the development of the nervous system, endocannabinoid-related functions, such as emotional learning and anxiety regulation, and neurotransmitters.

Effects Of Tobacco:

When marijuana is smoked, it is often mixed with tobacco. The effects of tobacco on infants exposed marijuana through breast milk need to be considered as well. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of exposure to smoke through mothers’ milk or passive smoking during a child’s first year (11). At birth, the mean body weight of newborns with mothers who smoke was significantly lower than the weight of newborns with non-smoking mothers. It was also found that cotinine concentrations in breastfed babies were ten times higher than bottle-fed babies.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:

Mothers need to be informed about the risk of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which is associated with maternal smoking during pregnancy and after birth. The ratio of normal birth-weight babies for SIDS was approximately 2 for exposure only during infancy (passive exposure) and increased to 3 for exposure during pregnancy and infancy (combined exposure). These numbers suggest that both passive and intrauterine exposure to tobacco is associated with a higher risk of SIDS (12). The data is further incentive to encourage pregnant women and families with children to stop smoking.

However, another study on whether the risk of SIDS increased during the first year of an infant’s life with paternal or maternal drug use during conception and pregnancy and after birth. According to the results, there was no link between SIDS and maternal drug use. But it was found that there is a significant relation between paternal use of marijuana during conception, pregnancy and postnatally and SIDS.

Side Effects Of Smoking Marijuana While Nursing:

More research is required to determine the effects of marijuana on breast milk, but studies have indicated some areas that contain risk factors including the following:

1. Hyperactivity:

According to some studies, exposing breast milk to marijuana can result in hyperactivity. There is a significant risk of ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (13). However, other studies show that it reduces activity, or does not have any effect on babies.

2. Mental Functions:

Breast milk that is exposed to marijuana can affect working memory, flexibility in thinking and attention spans. Working memory manages and stores the information that is used to carry out complex mental tasks such as learning, reasoning and understanding (14). Mothers who use marijuana while they breastfeed can increase the risk of brain and nervous system development impairment.

3. Changes In Emotional Reactivity:

Marijuana exposure to breast milk can cause changes in children’s emotional reactivity (15). Emotional reactivity is a child’s tendency to experience intense and frequent emotional arousal. It also means how often emotional arousal occurs and how easily the child can get excited.

4. Risk Of Future Drug Abuse:

According to animal studies, early marijuana exposure increases the reinforcing effects of drugs. Although more marijuana and breastfeeding research and studies are required to confirm the reinforcing effect, it has been proven that drug use and abuse is influenced by genetics and hereditary. If a mother uses marijuana and exposes her baby to the drug through breast milk, it can increase the risk that the child will use marijuana or other substances in the future.

Marijuana Unsafe While Breastfeeding:

It is important for mothers to know that smoking marijuana during breastfeeding, is not safe (16). Yes, long term effects are still not fully known; however, studies so far have shown that the drug can have a negative impact on a baby’s growth and development. As mentioned earlier, THC remains in the body where fat cells are present. Breast milk contains fat, and when marijuana is smoked or eaten by a nursing mother, THC gets concentrated in it. In fact, because it is fat soluble, it can remain in the fat tissue of chronic users for 1 to 6 months (17).

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises mothers against using marijuana. There is a lack of studies, and also, there is no proper regulation of marijuana as a medical drug. This is why there is more concern about its effects on breastfeeding babies than some pharmaceuticals. In fact, in 2013, in its first statement regarding the issue, the AAP noted that breastfeeding mothers can take more prescription medications without putting their babies’ health at risk, but that they should still avoid certain psychiatric drugs, painkillers and herbal treatments (18).

Psychotropic substances, such as marijuana, amphetamines, LSD, heroin and more, enter milk readily and that infants may be at a high risk of apnea, sedation or death if the dose of the drug is high enough. Furthermore, despite the clinical effect, infants will screen positive for a number of days, even weeks, following their use.

In general, regular marijuana use is not considered safe during lactation and pregnancy. However, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (2015) states that it is difficult to make recommendations during lactation as research relating to the effects of marijuana on breast milk and breastfeeding babies.

The advice given to mothers by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) and Thomas Hale, the author of ‘Medications and Mothers’ Milk’, is similar – to seek help to decrease marijuana use or stop completely and minimize babies’ exposure to the drug (19) .According to experts, the drug should not be considered safe even though there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it causes long-term harm to babies.

Occasional Marijuana Use While Breastfeeding – Is It Safe?

Opinions regarding the safety of occasional marijuana use by lactating mothers vary. When a mother smokes the drug occasionally, the numerous benefits of breastfeeding, which can decrease some side effects, should be weighed against the risks of using formula milk and the risks of using the drug.

According to the AMB, mothers who admit to rare or occasional use of marijuana should be counseled to stop using or reduce marijuana use. They should be advised about the possible long-term neurobehavioral effects and instructed to avoid exposing the child directly to marijuana and its smoke. Hale and other authors recommend not breastfeeding for 24 to 48 hours after using marijuana, i.e. pump the breast milk and discard it (20).

However, according to other breastfeeding experts, there is no need to discard milk after marijuana use. If a mother uses the drug occasionally and can take proper care of her child, there is no reason to use formula as there is no evidence that the presence of small amounts of components will harm the infant.

Does Marijuana Affect Milk Supply Or Hormones?

In one study, it was found that marijuana use could have a significant effect on the reproductive system, including milk production and fertility. It can also influence the mother’s metabolism, mood and sleep patterns by affecting control of hormones. As mentioned earlier, animal studies have shown a decrease in prolactin (the hormone that affects milk production) levels. However, it should be noted that abnormally high prolactin levels, or hyperprolactinemia, have been reported among chronic marijuana users (21).

Although the long term effects of marijuana remain unclear, experts agree that the drug does affect breast milk and babies that are breastfed are at risk of side effects. This is why mothers who use marijuana are advised to not use the drug while they are breastfeeding or completely stop using the drug to minimize any risk of harming their babies.

Although sufficient research or proof regarding marijuana use and its effect on breastfeeding babies is not available, the general advice is that the drug is contraindicated for mothers who are breastfeeding because:

  • It will most likely affect a mother’s ability to care for her child
  • It passes into the baby’s body through breast milk and smoke
  • The drug’s profile can potentially affect the baby’s developing brain and have other negative short term effects
  • Street drugs are often mixed with other potentially harmful substances, making marijuana exposure to babies dangerous
  • Using other harmful drugs along with Marijuana can increase the risk as well

Using marijuana while breastfeeding is not safe. The lack of evidence does not mean that there are no dangerous long term effects. Even if a mother does not breastfeed, it is best to avoid the drug completely as some studies have shown that babies whose parents smoke cannabis are more likely to develop asthma or suffer from SIDS, which could be a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

In 2015, in a new policy statement by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant and breastfeeding women are urged to avoid marijuana use (22). Nursing mothers should talk to their health care providers to find ways to reduce their drug use or quit completely. The best thing mothers can do to protect their babies against the potentially harmful effects of the drug is to stop smoking it as well as using other drugs.

How To Reduce Use Of Marijuana?

If you are addicted to marijuana, it can be an uphill task to get over your addiction. But, bear in mind that you are now a soon-to-be mom, and your priority should remain your baby’s health and wellbeing.

Marijuana users who try to stop consuming it all at once, may experience some withdrawal symptoms,which include:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability or Restlessness
  • Strong craving to resume pot
  • Loss of appetite

These symptoms can last for as long as two weeks before showing signs of subsiding. Marijuana addiction treatment can help reduce these withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, the withdrawals are purely psychological and have no physical symptoms.

The most important step and part of treatment, especially for pregnant women is counseling. This is often coupled with non-addictive mild medications that help lessen withdrawal symptoms. Once the mom to be is detoxed, both individual and group sessions are suggested to help her stay sober. These sessions are a combination of hearing out the patient and rendering simple but effective strategies to help prevent a relapse.

Many women are suggested to join local support groups that have regular meet ups.

5 Tips To Cope With Marijuana Addiction:

Overcoming an addiction, such as marijuana is in no terms easy, but you are not alone in the battle. There are many ‘marijuana and addiction’ support groups who take up the cause, and help you at every step.

1. Be Patient:

An addiction in itself is a sign that you suffer from anxiety and have chosen it to help relieve yourself. Once you have made up your mind to give up pot, it is important that you remain patient and not expect results overnight. It is likely that you will feel very anxious for the first week. Keep reminding yourself that this will soon pass. Patience is the key to getting over marijuana.

2. Be Calm:

When you feel very restless, take a long breath and calm yourself. Breathe, take it slow and stay calm, and you will soon feel better again. There are many ways you can maintain your composure. Make yourself a cup of hot herbal tea. A tea of sage or rosemary herb can help ease your nerves.

You can also indulge in a hobby that you never had time for. It can be something as simple as knitting. Sit down to knit a sweater for your child. Yoga too can help you stay calm, especially when you are trying hard to give up marijuana. It will soothe your mind and keep you from reaching out for pot again.

3. Seek Help:

At times, just yoga and herbal teas may not be enough to overcome your anxiety. If you feel particularly uneasy, make sure you seek your doctor’s help. He is likely to give you a mild anti-anxiety medication that will help ease the withdrawal symptoms of the drug.

4. Seek Support:

There are several 12-step programs and groups like Marijuana Anonymous that help you share and discuss your anxiety and other symptoms and fears. If you find it difficult to travel, you can also be a part of the many online support groups, and chat with other people who are trying to overcome the addiction. Knowing you aren’t alone, can be a great boost.

5. Get Active:

The best way to keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay is to become a bit more active. This will help you stay calm and set your mind at ease. Consult your doctor and set aside at least 30 minutes to practice moderate exercises. You will find yourself a lot more relaxed and less anxious. What’s more? It will also help you sleep better as your body will be tired and will ask for rest!

The fact is that drug use, whether it is marijuana or heroin or prescription drugs, impairs judgment, and this could affect how a mother takes care of her baby. It is best for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to avoid using any drugs so that they are not only able to care for their health and baby, but also prevent any side effects of their drug use from harming their child. The advice of experts should be taken, and marijuana use should be avoided at all costs by mothers who are nursing their babies.

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Baby Breastfeeding

Is It Safe To Take Caffeine While Breastfeeding?

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Giving in to all your food cravings can be an issue when you are breastfeeding because what goes into your diet goes into your breast milk too. Not all foods that you have may end up in the breast milk, but most do. Caffeine is one such food that is craved for by a lot of women. It is a part of many day-to-day foods that is debated upon for its safety and consumption when you are breastfeeding.

As per the guidelines from Medications and Mother’s Milk, caffeine falls under the Lactation Risk Category L2 (safer) category. It was classified as a ‘Maternal Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding’ by the American Academy of Pediatrics. In fact, caffeine has been directly given as treatment for breathing problems in premature babies for years, that too in much higher amounts compared to what is found in the breastmilk! MomJunction helps you understand all about caffeine and breastfeeding, how much to take and when to avoid.

Does Caffeine Affect Breast Milk?

Yes, caffeine gets into breast milk! Once you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is rapidly absorbed into your blood, and diffuses passively across the epithelial layers of the mammary glands. But, very low levels (less than 1% of what is consumed) may end up in the breast milk and clinically significant amount of caffeine is not found. Caffeine appears in the milk within 15 minutes of intake, while the concentration levels would be at its peak after an hour (1).

Dr. SK Gambhir of Paras Bliss hospital in Delhi says that the effect on breast milk stays for a maximum of 120 minutes.

Are Babies Sensitive To Caffeine Intake Of Nursing Mother?

Some babies, especially those under six months of age, may be sensitive to mother’s caffeine intake. More reactions can be observed in nursing infants whose mothers entirely avoided caffeine during pregnancy (2).

Caffeine may get accumulated in breastfeeding babies if their mothers consume high amounts and can cause irritability, insomnia, and constipation. The accumulation is due to the inability of the baby’s body to break down and eliminate caffeine.

Newborns take more time to metabolize caffeine compared to older infants because of their immature liver and kidneys. Preterm or sick infants may also have problems because of their inability to metabolize caffeine.

Age Group Half Life (Hours)
Premature neonates (3-32 days) 102.9
Term neonates (0-4 days) 80.0
Young Infants
1-2 1/2 Months 26.3
3-4 1/2 Months 14.2
5-6 Months 2.6
Adults
Non Smokers 6.0
Smokers 3.5

 

*Half-Life is the time taken for a substance to become half inside a human body.

Even though babies show sensitivity to caffeine, it may disappear as they grow older. Babies will begin to process caffeine more efficiently at about three months of age (3), and it would become much easier over time. By the time the baby is nine months old, he would develop the ability to eliminate caffeine at the same rate as you do!

How Much Caffeine Can You Have While Breastfeeding?

According to Dr. SK Gambhir, a breastfeeding mother needs to limit her caffeine intake to less than 300mg a day.

An acceptable amount of caffeine while breastfeeding varies based on factors like baby’s health, age, and tolerance levels. Moreover, caffeine is diuretic and causes dehydration, and it is important to be hydrated particularly while nursing. Thus, it is advisable to limit caffeine consumption while breastfeeding with not more than two or three cups of tea, coffee, or caffeine beverage each day (4).

In the US, not more than 200mg caffeine a day is recommended for breastfeeding mothers. It comes to about two mugs of tea or one mug of filter coffee or two mugs of instant coffee, a day. NHS recommends that you have caffeine drinks occasionally, rather than every day, if your baby is young.

As per the Breastfeeding Answer Book, caffeine consumption of over 750 mg per day by nursing mothers may result in babies showing signs of caffeine stimulation, such as:

  • wakefulness
  • fussiness
  • activeness
  • alertness
  • wide-eyed
  • less sleep hours
  • colic

Ways To Decrease Caffeine Stimulation

If you observe signs of caffeine stimulation in your baby, avoid caffeine for two to three weeks and check the difference. Reintroduce to observe if the baby shows irritability.

Few ways to decrease caffeine stimulation are:

  • Limiting the consumption of caffeine while nursing
  • Spreading the coffee intake over the course of the day
  • Breastfeeding before or after an hour of caffeine ingestion or pumping breast milk
  • Monitoring the baby’s reaction when exposed or withdrawn from caffeine consumption
  • Taking few glasses of water after caffeine consumption to dilute its effect in the body

**If you consider caffeine withdrawal as a way to soothe your fussy baby, make it happen gradually. Abrupt withdrawal may give you a headache, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

Does Caffeine Decrease Breast Milk Supply?

No research or evidence supports the myth that caffeine decreases milk supply in nursing mothers. In fact, a study indicated that caffeine does not change breast milk composition, and rather, stimulates milk production (5). Even if the decreased milk supply is observed in few cases, it could be due to the decreased nursing of fussy babies, rather than the caffeine intake.

However, few studies suggests that the chronic caffeine ingestion could lessen the iron content in milk, which may lead to mild iron deficiency or anemia in some breastfed infants.

When Should Nursing Mothers Completely Avoid Caffeine?

If you are a nursing mother having a Raynaud’s phenomenon, a circulatory disorder, avoid caffeine. The condition is due to the constriction of blood vessels, which leads to lesser blood flow. It even affects your nipples and the constriction worsens with caffeine, ending up in painful breastfeeding.

Caffeine consumption may affect a nursing mother’s let-down reflex (the milk ejection reflex from the breasts), in case of nipple vasospasm.

What Are Different Caffeine Sources?

Caffeine can be found in:

  • coffee
  • soft drinks
  • tea
  • sports, energy drinks
  • chocolate
  • few prescription medicines
  • over-the-counter medications for cold, headache, and allergy remedies
  • coffee ice cream
  • herbal products containing kola nut/cola nitida, guarana/paullinea cupana, yerba mate, or green tea

Caffeine Content In Common Drinks

Drinks Caffeine Level (mg)
Coffee, Brewed(8 oz) >80-135
Coffee, Instant(8 oz) >65-100
Tea, iced(8 oz) 47
Tea, brewed, imported brands (avg.)(8 oz) 60
Tea, green(8 oz) 15
Hot cocoa(8 oz) >14
Dark chocolate (1 oz) >20 mg
Diet Coke(12 oz) 45.6
Red Bull (8.2 oz) >80.0

Source:

A nursing mother can enjoy caffeinated drinks and foods without any concern, as long as it is within a limit. In case the baby shows discomfort, it is better to seek a doctor’s advice and chalk out the caffeine consumption plans.

FAQs

Q. What Can I Have Instead Of Caffeine Drinks?

A. A great option would be to have decaffeinated products like coffee free from caffeine, decaffeinated green tea, or herbal tea. You could also have flavored water with a slice of lime or lemon, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk, no-added-sugar squashes. Instead of cocoa or hot chocolate rich in caffeine, go for a hot malt drink.

Q. How Many Cups Of Coffee Are Okay Each Day?

A. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not more than three cups daily, while La Leche League considers five cups of coffee while breastfeeding each day to be safe.

Q. How To Limit Caffeine Intake Through Coffee Or Tea?

A. Opting for espresso drinks like lattes or instant coffee, which have less caffeine than the regular brewed coffee would be better. Take a tea that is brewed for less time or tea bag steeped in water for a lesser time.

Q. Are Energy Drinks Containing Caffeine, Safer During Breastfeeding?

A. It is advisable to cut down on energy drinks altogether as they are loaded with caffeine.

Q. Is Coffee Bean Extract Safe For Nursing Mothers?

A. Green coffee bean extract is a herbal, homeopathic product helpful in lowering the blood pressure and body weight. Even though no study talks about the safety of the product for a breastfeeding mother, it is important to note few points before going ahead.

Green coffee bean extract contains caffeine if it comes in dosages of 43 mg, 93 mg, or 185 mg.  The higher the dosage, the more the caffeine. Opt for low dosage product or avoid caffeine if your baby shows reactions against it.

Moms share your experiences about consuming caffeine during breastfeeding here. How addicted or not were you?

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4 Amazingly Different Ways You Can Use Fenugreek During Your Lactation Period

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Mommies, who are concerned about how to increase breast milk, need not worry, as Fenugreek can rescue you. Fenugreek has been used popularly as a spice of an herb for ages. It is known to induce labor and also assist in childbirth.

Fenugreek seeds can be a safe answer for you as well as your baby for increasing breast milk. How?

Fenugreek For Breast Milk Production:

When it comes to increasing your milk supply, it is always better to try the non-pharmaceutical measures first. The herbal medicines will have lesser side effects compared to the prescribed medicines to increase breast milk supply. Here we shall explore the link between fenugreek and breast milk production:

  • Mothers should have noted that they find increase in milk production after 24-72 hours of taking fenugreek.
    • You need to take around 3,500 mg of fenugreek in the form of pills, seeds or herb to see the effect. With regular intake, you can slowly find increase in your milk production. After some time, you can see your urine and sweat beginning to smell like maple syrup. You must try alternative methods, if in case you face any discomforts.
  • Per Kathleen Huggins says, “Most mothers have found that the herb can be discontinued once milk production is stimulated to an appropriate level. Adequate production is usually maintained as long as sufficient breast stimulation and emptying continues.”

Different Ways You Can Use Fenugreek For Increasing Breast Milk:

Fenugreek can be taken in different ways during your lactation period. Here are some possibilities:

1. Tea: You can add around 3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a cup of water and bring it to boil to make the tea. You can have this around three times a day.

2. Capsules: The seeds are available in the form of capsules as well. You need to consult your lactating doctor about the doses. You can begin with three capsules a day, and then increase it slowly till your urine smells like maple syrup.

3. Sprout The Seeds: This is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to take fenugreeks. Soak the seeds in a clean glass of water and do not disturb them for around 5 days. You can see the sprouts after few days. You can add them to your salad.

4. Fenugreek Powder: Fenugreek can be taken in the form of powder. You can mix a teaspoon of it with fruit juice and take them daily. Discontinue its use if you experience muscle cramps.

Be Careful Of The Side Effects:

You must consult with your herbal specialist or lactation doctor to know if your baby is exposed to any sorts of dangers when you take fenugreek daily. Here is a list of side effects that you should be careful while taking fenugreek for breast milk supply:

  • Fenugreek seeds induce labor, and thus it is suggested that you avoid them in pregnancy.
  • If you notice any allergic reactions, inform it to the doctor. You may be allergic to fenugreek if you have allergies from peanuts or soy.
  • If you begin with heavy doses of fenugreek, it might lead to diarrhea. The herb also passes through your breast milk and your baby might develop diarrhea as well. Thus, it is important that you start with the small dose and then increase the intake slowly.
  • See if your urine, sweat and breast milk smells like maple syrup. You must inform your baby’s doctor about your fenugreek intake.

Remember:

  • You must consult your doctor in case you feel you are not producing enough milk, despite trying different measures.
  • Your lactating consultant may suggest you to take fenugreek to augment your milk supply.
  • Make sure you are starting with a small dose to keep away the side effects.
  • You must follow the advice of your doctor at every step. This will free your mind from all concerns like if you are harming your baby in any way.

Let us know if fenugreek helped you to augment your breast milk production in the comment section below.

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